Tutorials:-Working with Power MILL "PART V" Toolpath Leads and Links


To provide for more efficient movement of the tool across the component the link moves that connect adjacent tool tracks can be defined in several different ways.

Short/Long Threshold - This defines the distance limit up to which the Short - Links apply. Any move from the end of a tool track to the start of the next, which exceeds this distance is defined as a Long - Link move.

For Short links the available options include Safe Z, Incremental, Skim, On Surface, Stepdown, Straight, and Circular Arc.

For Long links the available options include Safe Z, Incremental, and Skim.

Safe links apply only at the start and end of a toolpath the available options being Safe Z, Incremental, and Skim.

For applications where a machine control system will permit arc fitting of rapid moves the Arc Fit Rapid Moves box can be ticked along with a suitable Radius based on the active tool diameter TDU (Of particular benefit to High Speed Machining).

•Activate the toolpath 1_1 created earlier in the Leads section.
•Set the Leads In and Out to None, if not already set. Press Apply.

  1. Step 1:

    Short Link Moves
    As shown both Long and Short links are currently retracting to Safe Z (default).

    •Select the Links tab setting the Short option to be Skim and then select the Z Heights tab setting the Skim distance to be 6 and the Plunge Distance to 2 as shown and Apply.

  2. Step 2:


  3. Step 3:

    The Short links retract to 6mm clear of the highest point on the surface between tool tracks, rapid feed (purple move) to the next start position, rapid feed down to 2mm above the surface and plunge feed down (pale blue move) to the start of the toolpath.

  4. Step 4:

    The link move remains at a constant height and feeds over to the start of the next tool track where it then feeds down onto the surface.
    In this case the link is a direct linear move to the start of the next tool track.
    Circular Arc
    This creates a circular transition from the end of one tool track to the start of the next. It is intended for use where parallel geometry is retained at the ends of the tool tracks. Examples of this condition include leads set to None, Extended, Boxed, or Straight with 0 Angle. The Circular Arc - Links are planer entities, aligned to the tool track ends and as a result will not be created if a gouge situation is identified with the model.

    As with Leads and Extensions it is essential that the Gouge Check box remains ticked for all normal applications.

    •Set the Links - Short option to Circular Arc, and Apply the form.

  5. Step 5:

    As shown above a Circular Arc - Link is automatically inserted between tool tracks except for 1 place where a potential gouge situation has been identified.

  6. Step 6:

    •From File select Save Project to update the stored Project.